I wanted to share a quick experience I had about 2 years ago. My buddy and I were selling “energy shots” at a stand on a very popular street downtown. It was really a great way for us to make some extra cash on the side. We basically mixed energy drink syrup with water in small sampling cups and sold them at $2 a piece. Because of the Vitamin B content in the energy syrup, we marketed them as “Anti-Hangover Shots,” although, given the ingredients in the mix, we could have also marketed them as “Lose Weight Fast” shots, haha!! Maybe we could have sold more that way. Really, really great memories!
But anyways, my friend and I were selling them on the street one day and had the LOVELY (and I say that sarcastically) experience of being interrupted by a protester. As we were having fun, marketing our services, and making some good money, a tall, slender man with shaggy curly hair, stationed himself a good 10 meters from us, and started yelling passionately into a megaphone. Yup, that’s right, a megaphone. YELLING into the megaphone on the street.
He was protesting the clothing store that we were standing next to. He went on and on and on about how the clothing store (who’s identity I will not reveal) was unethical. He specifically talked about how the leaders of the brand were homophobic and supported homophobic causes.
Because I was really only half listening, and to be perfectly honest, really irritated at the time, I didn’t fully grasp the content he was conveying. At the time, I was really just trying to have fun that Saturday afternoon, meet some cool people, and make a lot of money. I saw the protester as nothing more than a little pest who was ruining my Saturday afternoon.
Years later, as I reflect back on the experience, I realized that there was probably more that I could have internalized from the protester’s words. Although I have not researched the credibility of the facts that he was spewing out, it certainly couldn’t have hurt to learn more about the issue he was disclosing. I could have even taken the time to introduce myself, ask about his cause, and then kindly asked him to move a bit further away from where I was set up.
What I learned most from that experience is that there are times when I am completely lazy when it comes researching the places and people I buy clothes from. This doesn’t just apply to clothes, but any product in any industry. We sometimes, and I’m certainly always very guilty of this, assume that the business we purchase from is indeed an ethical business that aligns with our own personal beliefs. I certainly wouldn’t purchase products or services from a company that was run by an evil individual who performed evil, unethical actions.
I just thought it’d be nice to share this experience because it helps me become a bit more self-aware of my actions, and allows me to be more mindful of retail store protesters in the future! Hope this post helps and makes you think a little!
Power of Protesting: